I recently picked up a friend from KLIA2 and on the way home, I saw the sea and got beyond excited in the cab; pointing and showing the sea to my friend. The cab driver, a friendly Chinese man in his mid-forties, kindly corrected me and informed me that I had in fact mistaken a lake for the sea. A bit embarrassed, I told him that in the Maldives, I am always surrounded by the sea and I haven’t been to a beach in Malaysia yet. “You’re from the Maldives? No need to visit Malaysian beach then. You have the best beaches in the Maldives. You live in heaven on Earth! No beach can compare to the Maldives; I’ve seen it” the driver said smiling at me.
I couldn’t help smiling at what my cab driver just said. In a matter of seconds, his words transported me back to the Maldives; the sandy white beaches and the many shades of blue in the sea. In that moment, I was in heaven on Earth. The sun shining through the palm trees and the bird calls in the distance, the sound of waves crashing on the beach and islands in the horizon; I couldn’t have been happier.
Five months away from home, if there’s one thing I have learned, it is that there is no place that compares to home. Like many Maldivians back home, I too had taken the island nation and its beauty for granted; the everyday views of the beach had become a trivial sight to me. But having to live away from home, in a city where tall buildings stare at me every direction I looked, I have never been more grateful being Maldivian. To know that I come from a place the entire world considers to be heaven on Earth is overwhelming; in a good way.
Every day brings a constant reminder of the blessings of being a Maldivian. Wherever I go, the people I meet are always happy to talk about the Maldives and the beaches they have visited or wish to visit one day. It is amazing how something as simple as a beach can make a person long for tranquility and peace; and to know that I have had it my entire life and never really saw it in that way is a shame. For what it is worth, I cannot wait to go back home and really see my little island nation for the beauty it holds.